Potash Cuts Dividend and Lowers Full-Year Profit Forecast

Potash Corp Rocanville underground
Potash Corp., the world’s second-largest producer of its namesake fertilizer, cut its dividend and lowered a full-year profit forecast after crop-nutrient prices declined.

Quarterly payments to shareholders will drop to 10 cents a share from 25 cents, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said Thursday in a statement. Second-quarter profit, excluding certain items, totaled 18 cents a share. Potash Corp. sees full-year earnings at 40 cents to 55 cents, down from an April forecast of 60 cents to 80 cents.

The company has been beleaguered by a slump in agricultural commodities that came at a time when production of potash was on the rise. Three straight annual declines for corn, soybean and wheat futures have cut farmer spending. For Potash Corp., the confluence of factors spurred the company to in January cut its quarterly dividend for the first time since a 1989 initial public offering.

In response to the oversupply, Potash Corp. idled one of its mines in January and announced it would curtail production at two facilities to reduce annual capacity by 400,000 metric tons. The cut to the dividend was the second this year.

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